Values: At Home, In School
A mother and father fix their gaze on the camera, while their lively first-grade son plays in another room. “There is a poem that talks about how it’s the teacher and the parent working together who bring about ‘the whole child,’” the mother says. “You feel more comfortable in a classroom where you know the teacher is instilling the values that you’ve already set at home.”
She’s voicing the theme behind Values Go to School, a new documentary which will air on public television stations across the country this spring. The third video in the Learning Child Video Series, it was produced by Jonathan Diamond Associates in association with the College’s Child Development Institute. The video documents how issues of values among children emerge and take shape in the school context, and how teachers can encourage children’s expression and understanding of the ethical questions that permeate our everyday lives.
In classroom scenes from kindergarten through high school, in a variety of public schools, Values Go to School focuses on students’ interaction with teachers—and each other—to work through issues of conflict resolution, cooperation, ethnic identity, racial and cultural understanding, respect for diversity, the importance of work and the role of open discourse in achieving a sense of community. In some cases the teacher introduces topics related to values into the curriculum; in other cases, values issues and ethical questions arise spontaneously.
We asked Margery Franklin, director of the Child Development Institute, why instilling values needs the shared platform of school and home. “Because ethical issues are inseparable from the life of the classroom and the school,” she says, “schools can play a central role in the development of reflective consciousness about values and provide the context for encouraging genuinely humanistic values.”
For Values Go to School broadcast dates in your area, or to obtain copies of any of The Learning Child videos, visit www.slc.edu/cdi/learning, or call (914) 395-2630.